Reintroducing the "Original" Mobile Device Designed to Relax You

Lawn Chair on the Beach

I’d like to introduce you, or more accurately, reintroduce you, to one of the first mobile devices specifically designed to relax you. A cell phone? No. Laptop? Nope. Tablet? Not a chance. A lawn chair? Yep. It’s comfortable. Collapsible. And, yes, mobile. Just load it in the trunk of your car and set it up in seconds in front of any pond, lake, meadow, mountain, or ocean near you. Then sit, relax, and recharge.

Did I mention there are no cords to untangle? No electrical outlets needed. Instead, a lawn chair provides its own natural outlet to allow you to slow down, listen to your neglected thoughts, and help you make the decisions you face with greater clarity in serene surroundings. And, it’s an ideal device to restore your perspective in the great outdoors. (No extra charge for the energizing aroma of fresh air.)

“Almost everything will work again if you
unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
                                   Anne LaMott

For years, I have kept a lawn chair in the trunk of my car to slip away to a peaceful setting. On one occasion, I set my lawn chair on the shores of Green Bay in Door County. I was there for one reason; to pause and reflect on an upcoming major transition in my life. In a few weeks, my two sons would leave home for college and my father, a widower of 40 years, would need to be moved to an assisted living center as Alzheimer’s was slowly robbing him of his memory. I would soon lose daily contact with three of the most significant people in my life.
Thus, from a lawn chair, I paused—and quietly reflected on my changing role as both a father and a son.
As the gulls circled overhead, and sailboats glided across the bay, my thoughts focused on my father. How could I have been more helpful to him 40 years ago as he strived to raise six young children alone following my mother’s premature death from cancer? Did I say all the things I should have said before Alzheimer’s systematically fragmented his memory? Does he know that I have not only adopted his values but also taught them to my children?
From the tranquility of a lawn chair, I reminisced about the depth of our relationship. From a lawn chair, I once made the decision to leave corporate America and become a freelance writer so I could be home more and watch my children grow up. From a lawn chair, I helped my sons sort through their college choices. And from a lawn chair, I planned the best way to move my father out of his home of 42 years and into an assisted living center.
Today, I realize that a simple lawn chair, placed in a beautiful setting, has become a sacred place for me. A place to recall my past, refresh my soul, and most importantly, pause and reflect on the things in life that matter most.
Yes, a lawn chair—it’s still the best mobile device to use—when you need recharging.


NOTE: To get examples on how a simple lawn chair helped enrich my life, please see my article titled, “Lawn Chair Living” under the NONFICTION tab on my website or simply click here. This article was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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